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H 576: Program Planning for Health/Human Services

Background Reading

McKenzie, J.F., Neiger, B.L., & Thackeray, R. (2013). Models for program planning in health promotion. In Planning, implementing, & evaluating health promotion programs: A primer (pp. 43-55). Boston, MA: Pearson Education. NOTE: Your instructor will provide this chapter in class.

Schillinger, D. (2010). An introduction to effectiveness, dissemination and implementation research. P. Fleisher & E. Goldstein (Eds.). San Francisco: University of California San Francisco. Retrieved from:

Recommended Reading for Continuting Education

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) Publications

Consider adding something like the MMWR Recommendations and Reports to your regular reading list. "The MMWR series is the agency’s primary vehicle for scientific publication of timely, reliable, authoritative, accurate, objective, and useful public health information and recommendations."


About EBIs

Staff at the Family and Youth Services Bureau (of the Administration for Children and Families) have nicely summarized evidence-based practice as 'a process that brings together the best available research, professional expertise, and input from [the impacted community] to identify and deliver services that have been demonstrated to achieve positive outcomes for [the impacted community]. Evidence-based programs and practices (EBPPs) are specific techniques and intervention models that have shown to have positive effects on outcomes through rigorous evaluations.'


SAMHSA defines evidence-based interventions (EBIs) as "refer(ring) to a set of prevention activities that evaluation research has shown to be effective. Some of these prevention activities help individuals develop the intentions and skills to act in a healthy manner. Others focus on creating an environment that supports healthy behavior."

Selected EBI Dissemination Sites (General)


The Community Guide disseminates evidence-based findings and programs developed by the Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) with technical and administrative support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The guide includes topics such as nutrition, pregnancy health, tobacco, alcohol, preparedness and response, vaccination, violence, worksite health, health equity, HIV/STDs, motor vehicle injury, asthma and adolescent health.


Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development identifies, recommends, and disseminates programs for youth, families, and communities that, based on scientific evaluations, have strong evidence of effectiveness in reducing antisocial behavior and promoting a healthy course of youth development and adult maturity.

  • Programs are rated as "Model" programs or "Promising" programs. While Model programs are the preferred choice, those choosing Promising programs should pay particular attention to crafting and presenting a strong rationale.


Finding Evidence-Based Programs and Practices, developed by SAMHSA, pulls together a wealth of evidence-based programs across a wide span of public health topics.


Evidence-based Cancer Control Programs (EBCCP) is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The topic areas include diet/nutrition, physical activity, cancer screening, tobacco use, and sun safety among a number of others.The EBCPP website is a searchable database of evidence-based cancer control programs that provides program planners and public health practitioners easy and immediate access to: 1) programs tested in a research study, 2) publication(s) of the study findings, and 3) program products or materials used with a particular study population in a specific setting. Given that the programs on this site are based on evidence derived research studies, they may be particularly effective in serving the populations and communities in the settings in which they were originally tested.


Teen Pregnancy Prevention Evidence Review identified programs with evidence of effectiveness in reducing teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and associated sexual risk behaviors.


What Works for Health presents assessments of many policies and programs that can impact health through changes to: individual health behaviors; clinical care; social and economic factors; and the physical environment. Policies and programs in What Works for Health are generally assessed in terms of their effect on the factor(s) that drive health outcomes rather than their effect on health directly (e.g., strategies in the ‘Income’ health factor are assessed for their effect on income, assets, or wealth).


  • The graphic on the What Works for Health website is clickable (light blue boxes). Scientifically Supported programs are the only acceptable programs for this class/project. If starting your search from the graphic to get a list of programs, click the "Evidence Rating" column heading to sort "Scientifically Supported" programs to the top of the list. If starting with a search of the database, use the Evidence Rating "Scientifically Supported" filter to select for these.
  • The H576 course addresses program planning, so please focus on programs rather than policies as you select your topics and EBIs.


Example EBIs: Eating/Food/Obesity

5 A Day Peer Education Program, listed on the EBCCP site, is a worksite program designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption for young adults (19-39) and adults (40-65).


Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH), listed on the EBCPP site, is designed to promote healthy eating habits and increase physical activity among children and adolescents.

Selected EBIs for Mental Health

Blues Program (found in the Blueprints for Health Youth Development registry), is a school-based group intervention that aims to reduce negative cognition and increase engagement in pleasant activities in an effort to prevent the onset and persistence of depression in at-risk high school students.


Universal School-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Programs to Reduce Depression and Anxiety Symptoms (found in The Community Guide) is targeted towards school-aged children and adolescents regardless of the presence or absence of mental health conditions. The programs help students develop strategies to solve problems, regulate emotions, and establish helpful patterns of thought and behavior.



Example EBIs: Suicide Prevention

Good Behavior Game (Search the phrase "mental health" in the Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development keyword search to find others)


Suicide Prevention Resource Center website (provides a compilation of evidence-based programs which have demonstrated positive outcomes)

Example EBIs: HIV Prevention

Compendium of Evidence-Based Interventions and Best Practices for HIV Prevention  This CDC website lists interventions have been screened against specific criteria and that show sufficient evidence that the interventions work.

Effective Interventions' "Prevention" Interventions A listing of CDC-supported prevention interventions, drawn from the Compendium (see above), that are characterized by the "prevention" pillar of the Department of Health and Human Services' Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) plan.

Assessment & Planning Models (Logic Models)

The CDC provides guidance on the Common Elements of Assessment and Planning Frameworks which generally include:

  1. Organize and plan
  2. Engage the community
  3. Develop a goal or vision
  4. Conduct community health assessment(s)
  5. Prioritize health issues
  6. Develop community health improvement plan
  7. Implement and monitor community health improvement plan
  8. Evaluate process and outcomes


Example Models:

  • MAPP (Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships) from the National Association of City & County Health Officials
  • MAP-IT (Mobilize, Assess, Plan, Implement, Track) from the Healthy People 2020 initative